At this time of year – and especially, this being the 100th anniversary since the Armistice, it’s easy to get sucked into the idea that respect for our Armed Forces is limited to a single day, or to those occasions that mark a moment when a certain piece of history was made. Not so…
It is precisely because one day is not enough that the Armed Forces Covenant exists. In fact its exact nature is outlined on the Armed Forces Covenant website as this: “To those who proudly protect our nation, who do so with honour, courage, and commitment, the Armed Forces Covenant is the Nation’s commitment to you.
It is a pledge that together we acknowledge and understand that those who Serve or who have Served in the Armed Forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they Serve with their lives.”
The Covenant isn’t is an extension of Remembrance. It’s a living promise for Service personnel, Veterans and their families. It isn’t limited by time, politics or funding. It’s not even enshrined in law – because it doesn’t have to be, because it’s a promise – and a promise, is a promise.
Individuals and organisations choose freely to support the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant because they believe it’s the right thing to do. It’s worth venturing an opinion that they hold this view, not because they are necessarily related to or involved with the Armed Forces but because they can see plainly that Personnel and Veterans deserve that “fairness and respect”.
In practice, the Armed Forces Covenant can include a huge variety of support and services for Forces personnel and their families. Key areas include help with some of the more crucial aspects of resettlement such as finding a civilian home, access to health care and financial advice. Once you’re established, a little further digging will help you to uncover specifically designed discounts and deals on everything from motor insurance to broadband and phone packages – as well as important commitments to helping Service-leavers into jobs where they can use transferable skills acquired in the Forces.
Organisations that have signed the Armed Forces Covenant operate in all sectors and industries. The Armed Forces Covenant website has a useful search tool to help you find organisations in your local area.